Michelle Tay of Awesome Memories Photography has the magic touch when it comes to creating captivating, emotional, and romantic photography. With an eye for beauty, she effortlessly captures the true love between a couple along with the natural joy of each wedding she shoots. Not only are we fans of her beautiful work, we love how Michelle breaks away from the traditional photographer’s role, and walks an extra mile to connect with her clients’ hearts. Combining emotion-filled scenes with intimate moments of love, we hope that you enjoy today’s interview with Michelle Tay of Awesome Memories Photography and get inspired by her stories!
Praise: Share with us your journey as a wedding photographer, how and why did you step into this industry, and what about weddings interest you the most?
Michelle Tay: Before I became a full-time love photographer, I was a graphic designer for a number of years. This enabled me to hone my aesthetic eye and photo-editing skills, while pursuing my love for photography leisurely.
As I was planning for my own wedding back then, I fell in love with all the beautiful and creative things to do with weddings, especially the intricate pretty details. I also discovered my passion for shooting Love. Hence, I chose to pursue my passion in the field of wedding photography.
I love being around happy people, and weddings are the epitome of celebrations and happiness. The greatest part about being a wedding photographer is that each couple opens up their love story to me, allowing me to step in into their world to capture their love. Every love story is so unique in its own way, and I really appreciate the magnanimity of my couples to allow me to capture memories of a lifetime for them!
Praise: How would you describe your unique style? How is your style or service different from others?
Michelle Tay: I shoot Love, the love story of couples, and that involves an in-depth understanding of each couple prior to the photoshoot, to understand their love story, their likes/dislikes.
My goal is to translate that love as I see it into photos, into memories that will be with them for a lifetime. Every couple is different in their own ways, and the aim for me is to tell each love story uniquely meaningful to them.
As a married female photographer, I understand exactly the happiness, excitement, and also anxiety of brides-to-be. I am more than willing and happy to share any advice or provide a second opinion when couples are preparing for the engagement / pre-wedding photoshoot and also as they prepare for their wedding day. More often than not, my husband also shoots alongside me as a second photographer at no extra cost. This is so that we can cover more angles and more moments for the couple.
Praise: Share with us 3 of your favorite shots, and tell us why or the story behind them.
Michelle Tay: This couple, Anton and Elvira, flew all the way from Russia to Singapore for their holiday and were looking for a photographer to capture their beautiful holiday memories. I was really honoured that they chose me to be their photographer and this is my favourite shot of the series because it shows how in love they are with Elvira’s sweet smile as she lies comfortably in Anton’s arms.
Michelle Tay: One of my favourite wedding moments is when my couples recite their own personalized wedding vows. This was a very touching moment where Lewis broke down in tears as he recollected the tough times he and Estelle went through to get to this day. I also love how Estelle smiles and comforts Lewis by placing her hands on his shoulders.
Michelle Tay: Lars is from Denmark, and one of the Danish traditions is to cut a hole in the groom’s socks. I love how everyone is laughing out loud and enjoying themselves, with the foreground showing Lars’ toes peeking out from his socks to show the context of the photo.
Praise: How do you help clients discover their best looks and expression in front of the camera?
Michelle Tay: For engagement photos, I always tell my couples that they look best when they are at their most natural self, oblivious to my camera. Sometimes, I would suggest certain scenarios for them to imagine, and allow them the freedom to talk to each other or express whatever emotions, while I will capture those moments.
There are also occasions where I would play some songs to enhance the mood. Afterall, a photoshoot with Awesome Memories Photography is about the overall experience, and I want my couples to enjoy the whole experience on the day itself.
As for wedding day, I tell my couples to just enjoy the entire process on their big day, and the last thing they should worry about is me! What I do is to capture all the moments as they unfold, whether it be happy moments or touching moments. To me, natural feelings look the best in photos and it is what connects with people!
Praise: What are some things you would suggest to couples before taking engagement photos and before their wedding day?
Michelle Tay: For engagement photos, I would always discuss with my couples about their outfit and ask them to take photos of their proposed outfits so that I can offer a second opinion on which colours look good and whether the colours are complementary.
I would also suggest that they could bring along some of their meaningful personal items to the photoshoot, for example gifts that they give to each other, or objects that represent their hobbies, etc. This will make the photos more personalized and something that they can personally identify with.
As for wedding day, one thing that I would always suggest is for my couple to write their own wedding vows separately, and read it out to the other party for the first time during the solemnization.
I think that is the perfect moment to express all the love during all the years of courtship, and can possibly be one of the most emotional moments in their relationship when they say “Yes, I do”. I wish for them to remember this moment for the rest of their lives as they take on a whole new responsibility from being single to married, and I feel that saying their own personal vows makes the moment much more meaningful.
And of course, most importantly, have enough sleep the night before, and smile (or tear if you have to) the next day!
Praise: What do your clients love the most about working with you?
Michelle Tay: From the feedbacks I’ve received so far, it seems to be my dedication, attention to detail, and also keeping regular contact prior to the photoshoot to discuss and brainstorm various ideas.
Praise: What is your favourite wedding moment?
Michelle Tay: As mentioned earlier, it has to be the moment when they recite their own personal wedding vows!
Praise: What kind of equipments do you use?
Michelle Tay: Usually, I shoot with two Canon DSLRs (currently using the 5D Mark III) and a number of L-lenses. My husband usually shoots with me as well, and he also uses a Canon 5D Mark III.
Praise: Do you have any experience with destination weddings or pre-wedding sessions? What would be your dream destination wedding?
Michelle Tay: Yes, I shoot quite a number of pre-wedding sessions as well. I wouldn’t say I have a dream destination wedding. But rather, a perfect wedding in my opinion, would be one where the couple expresses their love for each other wholeheartedly and this can be felt by all the guests present at their wedding. I want to capture the overflowing emotions which my couple can look back fondly at the photos throughout their lifetime and reminisce their younger days in love.
Praise: How do you keep yourself inspired?
Michelle Tay: I love everything to do with weddings. Seeing all the pretty intricate details are a feast to my eyes and gets me excited and inspired. Hearing different love stories of different couples, especially those touching ones, make me feel inspired.
When I work with passionate vendors, the synergy and creativity inspire me as well. I also look at other non-wedding related stuffs; it could be anything or anywhere. It could be as simple as listening to music, watching a movie, looking at other artist’s works, etc. All these allow me to absorb whatever I see or come into contact with, and may feed off little thoughts in my mind to build into something inspirational.
Awesome Memories Photography: